A beautiful reef that’s far closer to shore than the Great Barrier Reef. Tropical islands in the Indian Ocean I didn’t know about. Fantastic wineries, river cruises and luxury lodges. Oh, and a series of gorges with brilliant waterfalls and that famous Australian red rock. I just finished up a visit to Australia for what’s called the Australia Tourism Exchange. They had writers from around the world, including two Canadians, fly to Brisbane for a conference held in Surfer’s Paradise, about an hour south of Brisbane on The Gold Coast. All to talk about tourism and travel opportunities in Australia. ... continue reading →

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  VICTORIA – I’m shocked it took this long. But at least it’s here now. On my recent trip to Victoria, which is far more hip than you might think, I wandered into the Victoria Public Market on Douglas Ave., one of the main streets. It’s located in the old Hudson’s Bay building, just a few blocks north of the main part of downtown. And it’s a magnificent addition to the city, a fun and giant and sunny space with ceilings high enough for a giraffe and immense concrete pillars. They’ve added splashy, colourful paper umbrellas to give the place ... continue reading →


Golf. Beautiful deserts. Spas. Cactus. Pretty good Mexican food. Those are some of the standard cliches you hear about Arizona. And with good reason. The golf is excellent, the desert landscape haunting and lovely, the spas to-notch, the cactus ever-present and the Mexican food to die for. 53_Vineyard-Wine_Photo Credit AOT But there’s so much more to the Grand Canyon State than that. Such as olive oils. Fresh citrus and tons of other produce, including organic honey. Great shopping in cities such as Scottsdale. And very good wine. We here in Canada may think of low-lying cities like Phoenix and wonder ... continue reading →


We all know that it’s generally cheaper to fly to our favourite destinations from nearby American airports. A new study shows us just how much cheaper. The folks at cheapflights.ca looked at flights in August of this year to some of our favourite places, such as Los Angeles, Montreal, Miami, London and Bangkok, and compared prices from Canadian airports versus ones near the Canada-U.S. border. It’s a big area to cover but it’s fascinating – and surprising – stuff. Topping the affordability index was Bellingham, Washington, with an average ticket price of $316. Next was Kelowna (surprised a Canadian airport ... continue reading →